Tennis: Third seed Halep surges into Open third round

Simona Halep of Romania serves the ball to Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia during their second round match of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan 21, 2015. Halep won 6-2, 6-2.-- PHOTO: EPA
Simona Halep of Romania serves the ball to Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia during their second round match of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan 21, 2015. Halep won 6-2, 6-2.-- PHOTO: EPA

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Third seed Simona Halep of Romania blitzed into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with a straight-set demolition of Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova.

Halep downed Gajdosova 6-2, 6-2 in a no-nonsense clash to set up a meeting with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the third round.

After taking the court just before midnight following a marathon men's match involving Rafael Nadal, Halep was in no mood to hang around and broke Gajdosova in the opening game.

The tenacious 23-year-old added another break on her way to taking the first set 6-2, wrapping it up with her fourth ace.

The second set followed the same pattern, although Halep paid tribute to world No. 62 Gajdosova, who was playing in the second round of her home Grand Slam for the first time after a decade of falling in her opening match.

"It was a tough match, the score didn't show this but she's a strong player," Halep said.

"I was concentrating on every point and really wanted to win this match."

Halep, a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park last year, is looking to build on a breakthrough 2014 when she reached the finals of the French Open and WTA Finals Singapore and the semi-finals at Wimbledon.